Disney reportedly shelled out $10m for Bob Iger to advise recently-ousted CEO Bob Chapek

Disney’s efforts to salvage its tanking reputation with the ousting of CEO Bob Chapek and the return of Bob Iger were not all as they appeared as newly reported filings revealed the latter had an advisory role to his successor to the tune of $10 million.

Prices at Disney’s theme parks have gone up while, to many, the quality of content has diminished on par with plunging stock values for the entertainment giant. Surprisingly, the company took action to slow the bleeding earlier in the week with the previously reported removal of Chapek who had defended the promotion of woke narratives.

However, despite the way Disney portrayed the move as some kind of comeback story, SEC filings reported on by the Financial Times showed that Iger had never really left the House of Mouse and may have had his own degree of culpability in recent failings.

Upon Iger’s 2021 retirement, a deal was struck with the company for a five-year $10 million consultancy agreement wherein quarterly installments of $500,000 would be paid out for Chapek “to have access to Mr. Iger’s unique skills, knowledge and experience with regard to the media and entertainment business,” reported the Financial Times.

Furthermore, the once and again CEO would advise “on such matters as his successor as chief executive officer may request from time to time.”

While the agreement was in place, Chapek reportedly did not seek out his predecessor’s guidance as the two were allegedly not on speaking terms. While Iger expressed disappointment when he was not turned to for help messaging after the passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, the Wall Street Journal conveyed Chapek’s opinion that the relationship was marred by Iger who during the initial transition “had said he would focus on creative work as executive chairman,” but was instead, “interfering in day-to-day matters that were supposed to be the CEO’s domain.”

Iger’s return reportedly came with a 40 percent pay cut from his previous salary of $45.9 million down to $27 million, $25 million of which includes stock options after he referred to Chapek as a “novice,” according to Business Insider. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of cofounder Roy Disney, grandniece to Walt Disney, and current major stockholder in the company, spoke with Time about the leadership problems as well but criticized both CEOs.

“He made a lot of rookie mistakes right out of the gate and then he made a whole series of rookie mistakes all along through his tenure. I don’t think he ever moved out of rookie mistake territory,” she said about Chapek before turning her ire on Iger. “The bottom line is that this was very poor succession planning and the onus of that has to land squarely on Bob Iger’s shoulders as well as the shoulders of the board of directors.”

Disney further derided Iger who rushed out the door at the onset of the pandemic when so much was in flux, especially with the volatile launch of Disney+. “Bob Chapek inherited a business plan for streaming that involved Disney losing money for a long time,” she explained. “There isn’t a streaming service that you can name that didn’t lose a ton of money in the process of building its way to profitability. He inherited a business plan that [people] thought was sound. Suddenly he’s being punished for something that was always the plan.”

To revitalize the reputation of the company, Disney skated around the obvious that a company marketing family entertainment should stick to legitimately family-friendly content by stating, “Disney really is in a bad moment in terms of brand. What it really needs is an injection of that ineffable thing that made the brand so special. And I really do hope [Iger] thinks very seriously about what needs to be reawakened at the company to make it really live over the long term.”

Kevin Haggerty


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